Monday, 21 February 2011

009 - Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Alexander Nevsky is probably one of the most entertaining and worst films I have ever had the misfortune to watch. If you really are dead set on watching it, watch it in a large group and feel free to leave the room to make tea / pour beer / do gardening / go on holiday. The chance of you missing any action, talking or motion in your time absent is very slim.

Set in 1252, the film was made in 1938 and is clearly a Russian message of "Fuck off Germany, we beat you 700 years ago and we'll do it again". Clearly, the Germans were less entertained that I was, left the room, invaded Poland and missed the ending of the film.

The film's ability to shock awe and disappoint are fairly equally matched. There are scenes of throwing babies - real, living babies - off cliffs towards bonfires (I hope someone was ready to catch it... But hey, "In soviet Russia.." etc.). There are battle scenes that could rival The Lord of The Rings for both repetitiveness and length of time wasting the viewers' lives. Last (but by no means of least importance) I don't understand spoken Russian and don't understand written King James' English (especially when badly translated from 'Rus').

The primary entertainment of this film comes from the adventurousness of the costume designers, who decided that gilt ravens claws, hands (Hitler salute style) and ice creams would look good as helmets. I believe they also managed an early Darth Vader look for the Teutonic leader. This outlandish headwear is the best way to recognise the characters, who all have long hair, beards and a monochrome complexion. Having said that, I'm not sure the film-makers managed to distinguish so easily as characters frequently died, and came back to life ("Ice-Cream Man" as we called him managed to die three times).

All-in-all, if you REALLY insist on watching this film, make sure you invite 5 or 6 patient friends, have plenty of beer and fair amount of mind-expanding drugs.
It would be irresponsible for me to recommend any of that, but it would probably be the best entertainment you ever had.

My Rating:
(Had I not left for beer)

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